PAC ranks nationally for design, appeal


Photo by: Benton Henry

College Degree Search ranked the Performing Arts Center No. 24 in the nation for architectural design, exterior appeal, design features and performance spaces.

Rachel Droze, Assistant Editor

The FMU Performing Arts Center (PAC) was listed as one of America’s 25 Most Amazing Campus Arts Centers in February.

College Degree Search (CDS), located in Columbus, Ohio, ranked the PAC No. 24 in the nation alongside others such as Debartolo Center at the University of Notre Dame and the Alys Stephens Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

The architectural design was the largest factor consider in the ranking, along with exterior appeal and innovative design features. The centers were also judged for their uniquely appealing performance spaces.

The architect for the PAC was Malcolm Holzman, who serves as a partner with Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture in New York. The center is 61,000 square feet and is home to an 849-seat main theatre, The Black Box, a smaller experimental theatre, and classroom and office space for FMU’s music industry programs. The exterior of the building consists of Winnsboro granite with Georgia White Cherokee marble insets.

The CDS elected to rank collegiate arts centers because of the impact a great center can have on a student’s educational experience according to Mackenzi Flannery, development coordinator at CDS and the director of the arts center-ranking project.

The PAC also received two national awards when it opened in 2011; one for construction in granite and the other recognized building sustainability.

“It’s a fantastic building,” FMU President Dr. Fred Carter, said. “I’m not surprised we’re still receiving recognition nationally.”

The PAC has hosted a variety of artists since its opening, including Roberta Flack, Lyle Lovett, Travis Tritt, Ricky Skaggs, The Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter. The Florence Symphony Orchestra, the Masterworks Choir and the South Carolina Dance Theatre call the PAC home. FMU’s symphony orchestra, concert band, music industry ensemble and concert choir also perform regularly at the PAC.

“Every artist who performs there compliments the building’s design, its acoustics and its attractiveness,” Carter said.

Upcoming events include Aaron Neville Duo on March 6 and South Carolina Dance Theatre’s “Cinderella” on March 20-22.

To see College Degree Search’s full ranking, visit:

For more information on the PAC, contact Tucker Mitchell at 843-661-1332, or